Structure in Creativity; effects of structuring tools on results of participatory scenario development workshops

M. van Vliet, K. Kok, T. Veldkamp, S. Sarkki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Scenario projects increasingly combine quantitative models with qualitative, participatory products in order to make scenarios more coherent, relevant, credible and creative. A major advantage of adding participatory, qualitative scenarios is their ability to produce creative, innovative, non-linear products. Integrating participatory results with quantitative models, however, can lower their credibility of both products when they are not consistent. The low level of structure in most participatory output limits possibilities for linking them to quantitative models. More structure could be introduced, but this might hamper the creativity of the workshop results: outcomes (process) and outputs (storylines). This paper tests a new method to analyse the creativity of scenario storylines in order to analyse the effects of structuring tools on the creativity of workshop results. Both the perceptions of participants and the resulting storylines of nine case studies across Europe are used in the analysis. Results show that the use of structuring tools can have a negative effect on the creativity of the workshop, but the influence seems to vary between the different tools. The study shows the benefit of using indicators for the scenario quality criteria. More research is needed to develop indicators for other scenario quality criteria, to improve those developed here and to study the impact of structuring tools with a larger data set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-760
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • fuzzy cognitive maps
  • consensual assessment technique
  • land-use
  • multiscale narratives
  • ia perspective
  • conservation
  • europe


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